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Geological Society Club records

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 378 GSL/GD
Held at: Geological Society of London
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Full title: Geological Society Club records
Date(s): 1824-2006
Level of description: Series
Extent: 14 boxes
Name of creator(s): Geological Society Club | 1824-


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Geological Society had originally formed as a 'Geological Dinner Club' at the Freemason's Tavern, Great Queen Street, London, on the 13 November 1807. However whilst the Society flourished, attendance at the Dining Club rapidly declined. A fine of 10s 6d was imposed for non attendance without prior warning, but by 1809 the total stood at 37 16s of which only 6 6s had been received. By around 1811, meetings of the Club had ceased.

The present Club was revived in 1824 by 30 members of the Society, some of whom had attended the previous Club. The first meeting was held at the Thatched House Tavern, St James' Street, on 5 November 1824. The rules on establishment limited membership to 40, however this number was never achieved during its early years and was reduced to 36 members in 1836. From 1904, the membership was gradually raised and by 1999 stood at 202 members.

Fellowship of the Society was, from the first, an essential qualification, however subsequent classes of supernumerary and honorary ranks were introduced later. Guests could be invited, unless the dinners were 'closed meetings' which could only be attended by Club members. In 1973, it was decided that most of the dinners, except for closed meetings, could be open events, that is attended by any Fellow of the Society.

Traditionally, meetings were held on the evenings of every Ordinary Meeting of the Society, but are now monthly.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Geological Society Club, 1824-2006, including:

Geological Society Club meeting books, 1824-1964; Minutes of the Geological Society Club Committee, 1903-1999; Annual reports, 1903-1945; Rules of the Geological Society Club, 1824-1995; Membership lists, 1858-1926, 1983-1989; Attendance registers, 1884-2006; Financial records, 1824-2006; Menus, 1888-1927, 1974; Records of special or anniversary meetings, 1874-1974; Correspondence and administrative files of the Secretary and Treasurer, 1855-1995; Notes and statistics, compiled by Hilary Bauerman, on the history of the Geological Society Club, [1860-1904]; Printed histories of the Geological Society Club, 1973, 1995.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records have been rearranged in light of the two further accessions which indicated clear series which were missing from the original arrangement.

Conditions governing access:

Access is by appointment only, daily readership fee is applicable unless you are a member of the Society. Some records may be restricted under the Data Protection Act. Please contact the Archivist for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to copyright and the condition of the original, may be supplied. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue will be available online in the near future.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Second accession was wrongly added to the LDGSL series (ref: LDGSL 1095) rather than being integrated with existing material.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The majority of the collection, as described in 'A review of the archives of the Geological Society Club', by David A Gray, October 1995, was always held by the Society. The second accession, transferred in 2005 from the Liverpool Museum, was originally deposited in the Liverpool Geological Society's archives from the estate of Prof Owen Thomas Jones. A further accession was deposited by Dr A John Martin, Secretary of the Club, January 2000.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

The collection, as it stood then, is described in 'A review of the archives of the Geological Society Club', by David A Gray, October 1995. However much of the pamphlet is out of date due to the further accessions and subsequent rearrangement.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Source: 'Centenary List of the Geological Society Club, 1824-1924', Spottiswoode, Ballatyne and Co Ltd, Oct 1924. Description by John Thackray, revised by Caroline Lam

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June 2012

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